You Want How Much for a Phone Charger?

People quickly find out that I am a dork, and their next question typically is “why do you own that old as dirt dumb phone?”. Well to be honest, I don’t like phones. After a decade of Palm Pilots and Windows CE devices, I really don’t like touch screens either (fat man fingers and a bad habit of chewing nails does not help). I also do not like that in order to get a fancy PDA with a radio you usually have to sign up for a data plan, or pay for the thing in full.

Now get off my lawn! Seriously though, I really only need my phone to do two things, make phone calls, and send SMS messages. If I had a wishlist the only other things I would like is mass storage for MP3 files, and Bluetooth. Naturally when I started my new day job I found the geek in the department and shortly there after I got asked about my basic LG flip phone.

After a few days of interrogation I jokingly snapped back with “well since you are so worried about it why don’t you give me a better phone!” With a little hinting around and a bribe of a “Swiss Roll” at lunch, I was given an old HTC phone with Windows Mobile 5.

While it is not exactly an iPhone or an Android,  it is much more featured than what I had, and it has a mini SD card slot and Bluetooth! The only catch was, he could not find the charger. We did not know if the thing even worked (he had never seen the thing turned on) , or what condition the battery was in.

As a good little hacker I took it anyway,  join me after the break to see me get it fired up and save a quite a bit of change in the process.

The phone in question is a Cingular 2125 (yea Cingular so its about 5-6 years old, but so is my flip phone) which is  marked as HTC innovation under the battery. It seems like every page on HTC’s website includes the word “innovation”. It could go by a few other names such as Wizard 1xx  and Faraday, but no matter the most useful information comes from the cingular page.

On that page it states that the phone can be charged from 5-9 volts via the mini USB port. You can charge with a standard USB cable,  but if the battery is below a certain level you are required to use the wall charger. Since this phone probably has not seen a charger in at least 4 years it is safe to say the battery is flat.

I googled around for a while but never really found anything about the charger, other than their cost, One can pick up a generic USB charger for a few dollars, but I doubt that would do any good because if it would charge off of a 2 wire USB connection, it would have been charging on my computer just as well. The official charger however is 29.99 + shipping, and frankly there is no way I am paying that, and waiting a week for a phone that I don’t even know works.

Going on one of my trademarked “guess and whims” I decided to wire up a USB plug the same way a lot of Motorola phones are using a drawing found with the Adafruit minty boost discussion (and who cares if I fry it) . First up is to find a male mini USB plug, digging around I found the totally useless USB cord that came with my TI lauchpad. Using a utility knife I scored down the side of the plug slowly cutting the plastic boot,  quickly removing the plug from its housing.

After removing the plastic boot, I de-soldered the 4 wires connecting to the USB plug and soldered on some long lengths of ribbon cable.  Naturally one of the pins I would need was clipped off, they often do this to keep unskilled workers from making incorrect connections, but its highly freaking annoying.

In order to get around that I just used my soldering iron to scoop out the plastic around the pin, and cleaned out all the melted gunk with a knife, leaving enough metal for me to get a good solder connection. Once wires are solder on I soldered the other end to a set of pin headers so it could plug into my breadboard. Hooked it up turned it on and the phone started charging, and after a couple hours it was half charged.

I let it finish overnight on a computer USB port, and though the weekend I made a few calls, many text messages and beat “Super Mario Bothers” using a NES emulator. The battery, after all of that was sill roughly 75% of its full charge. so I know the phone works and the battery is still good at this point.

I could have left it at that, but if I ever let the battery discharge below its USB only threshold I would be doing it all over again, in order to prevent that I decided to move my 3 wires and resistor from the breadboard on to a proper power source and make my own charger.

While the breadboard was still hooked up I measured the phones current, using that setup the phone would draw just under 700ma (678 to be exact) , which is enough to screw up USB ports but low enough I have to question the intentions of HTC as they really could have dropped that.

Anyway, I rummaged around my junk box and got out an LG charger for a phone which I have never seen before, rated for 5 volts 800 milliamp, which is perfect. Now its just a matter of attaching the charger to the USB port with the 2 pins pulled down appropriately.

Cutting the cord to the LG charger I was presented with 4 wires, and since the 24(?) pin connector on the end was just held together with screws I popped it open and compared it to pinouts on google. Strangely enough red is 5 volts, green and black are ground, and yellow is an ID line (similar resistor setup I imagine except it seems backwards to what I need).

It never fails, if I look up the pinouts the wires will match logically, if I don’t look them up then its all kinds of crazy.Its just worth looking them up or probing them out, because color of wires means nothing in most situations, then you have to look them up anyway.

I clipped the green and yellow wires since I did not need them, and to prevent the ends from shorting out I took my wire clippers and tugged at the insulation a bit so the wire was back inside the insulation. Then I put a drop of liquid super glue on the ends so they would not poke back out.

Meanwhile on the USB plug I soldered a 220K ohm resistor bridging pins 2 and 4 together, and connecting the other end to ground. Finally I connected power and ground to pins 1 and 5 of the USB plug, in order to tighten things up a little I pulled on the outside jacket of the power supply cord which hides the 2 cut wires.

Now I have a proper wall wart for this phone, but it iss pretty fragile. There is really nothing holding the metal USB shield in place and there is no strain relief on the solder points. To solve the shield problem I just simply used a thin layer of gel superglue.There is a little bump in it so the boot will hold it. To solve the boot problem I pulled out my favourite little hack tool, putty epoxy. All I have to do is mark off where I don’t want the putty to go, then tape it off so it does not squish inside the plug.

If you have never used putty epoxy before its just epoxy resin and hardener in a putty form. All you have to do is kneed them together into a uniform color (mine is blue and white so it makes a purple color) and apply. You can get this stuff at different strengths with different additives, but I just use cheap “5 minute brand” from Wal-Mart. Since this stuff hardens fast you have to move quick, kneed it together to a uniform color and apply.

Once you have it blobbed on you may want to smooth the surface, since you will have fingerprints, or little spikes where the epoxy sticks to epoxy stuck to your fingers (even wearing latex gloves). The best way to do this is to wet your fingers with some plain old vegetable oil and smooth it out. It will never be 100% perfect but it will be darn good enough.

Finally before it sets up I need to trim the plug end so its not covered in rock hard gunk where it needs to be plugged in. Using a utility knife with the blade wiped down in vegetable oil simply make cuts down until you hit metal and angle away a bit so you pop the cut parts off. At this point the epoxy is starting to set hard so it will feel less like putty and more like sand, just keep making small cuts and eventually when you start seeing the tape move a bit since your now prying at the edge of it, you have gone far enough.

Now I am all set for another half decade and instead of getting grilled on “why are you using that dirt old dumb phone”, I will be getting grilled on “why are you using that dirt old smart phone … oh it plays zelda? Well OK, that’s cool then”

Sounds good to me.

Comments

  1. MobileWill says:

    Nice job! I used to have the Cingular 8125.

  2. Pete S says:

    That was entertaining to read!

    Personally I would have used heatshrink tubing for the final step. The type that has hot glue inside.

    • Spork says:

      Heat shrink is good for insulating the electricity, but not great for strain relief/general robustness. The Epoxy will make the cable last much longer.

      • Punkguyta says:

        Actually the kind of heat shrinking with hot glue/sealant inside works great for strain relief!

        I happen to have some right here, and once it’s around something and been heated up and shrunk, it’s rock solid, with a little bit of flex, and trust me, it’s GLUED to whatever you wrap it around, you aren’t going to be having to worry about the connection inside the heatshrink.

  3. Matthias Welsh says:

    And you’ll continue hating phones. The only thing nice about WM5 was the availability of some cool kitchens to make roms. The Roms weren’t exactly what I would call “nice” but it was fun to be hacking apart Windows Mobile.

  4. Steveeeee says:

    “Innovation” is/was HTC’s corporate slogan and was apparently printed on a bunch of their phones. “Faraday” is the correct name for this model.

    Good job on the charger. Now I’m thinking about getting one of these as a step up from my Nokia 6170 :)

  5. Haku says:

    For re-wiring your own plugs and putting a new covering over your soldering handywork, I’ve discovered using hot-melt glue and then heat shrink tubing works really well.

    When you put the heat shrink over the cooled down glue and then heat it all up, the tubing shrinks over the glue which melts so they bond together. Producing a round, solid plug with a nice grip to it.
    If any glue squeezes out during the shrink process you can simply cut it off to neaten things up.

    The added bonus of this is that the resulting cover has a little flex to it so the wire is less likely to break through being bent at the plug than if you used an epoxy which sets rock hard.

    • Spork says:

      This is definitely a good method, if you open some older commercially-made 9pin DB connectors you’ll see that they use almost the exact same technique (except molded over with plastic then injected with glue on an assembly line by a robot)

    • chango says:

      I do the same thing with multiconductor splices. I cut some slivers of hot melt and wedge them in the splice before putting on the heat shrink. The trick is to not go crazy with the glue or it will squeeze out the ends and flare them out a bit.

    • KillerBug says:

      This might be the most elaborate charger build I have ever seen…nice writeup…I never bother with write-ups for stuff like this.

      Personally I like to use RTV…it makes a nice strong bond that flexes well, and it looks great (if you do it correctly). You can even do unique shapes, like when you need a 45 degree angle or something.

  6. macegr says:

    I stuck with dumbphones too, until I played with a friend’s new 3GS. Was the first “real” iPhone in my opinion…something that carried the vision through to completion. Before that, smartphones seemed to detract from overall experience; using them required more effort and time than they were supposed to save. Now you have better iPhones, Androids (with real keyboards) etc to choose from, they’re all capable. It’s changed the way I do things, it puts large parts of today’s society in the palm of your hand.

    The important thing to remember is that no one really cares if you have an old phone. If you say “I just need to make calls” and flash your ancient Nokia, people just roll their eyes once, maybe ask if you forgot your flannel and messenger bag too. If you later get a modern phone, it’s not some noble principle you’ve compromised.

    • Spork says:

      It’s a principle of money for me. My carrier (Verizon) requires that I get a data plan to use *any* smart phone. Including the Blackberry and iPhone that I already own.

      Paying $30/month for something I don’t need is ridiculous. When they drop the price to a reasonable amount (ie $5/mo or free) I will switch over in a heartbeat, but for now I will stick with the dumb phone.

      • Sparx says:

        Do you have no mobile virtual network operators in the US?

        There is a network here in the UK that provides pay as you go (prepay), with unlimited data, unlimited sms and plenty of minutes for about £10 a month with no contract… I don’t understand why you americans/canadians seem to get ripped off.

        Yeah, you have to buy your phone outright, but it still works out cheaper!

      • Jack Dedert says:

        You do as the author did. Get the phone through some channel other than through the carrier. It’s easy with AT&T/T-Mobile which use GSM phones. Simply swap the SIM out of your dumb phone, and your on. It’s a little more difficult with Sprint & Verizon, where the phone itself needs to be registered.

      • Jack Dedert says:

        Nice hack. I’ve done similar things with the large box of wall warts I have…including transplanting the entire cable from one to another. If that is a micro USB plug, be advised that manufacturers have FINALLY settled on that format as the ‘official’ cell phone brick. This is so way overdue that you can google my handle and find rants going back at least ten years on the subject. From now on, just about any micro-USB charger will charge any phone that it will fit in. Most new phones (except Apple phones, of course) will follow the standard.

      • Ren says:

        Yeah, I’m on Verizon too, I’ve never thought it “right” to be charged $30/month to be able to sync Outlook (contacts, calendar, email) from my PC to the phone when carrying a PDA does that without a monthly charge. Since I paid less than $10 for my Palm Tungsten, I just can’t see paying $360 year just to have the same functionality on the phone. Now my wife wants to buy me the iPhone4 (not the new model) for $100… I’m not so sure I want it…

      • Spork says:

        Even on ATT/T-Mobile/etc… they will charge if you try to use an iPhone with a pre-existing SIM. Even if you don’t use data or already have a data plan.

      • KanchoBlindside says:

        @Sparx After all my years in the telecom industry (and worldwide travel) Japan is about the ONLY place that doesnt have its phone tech subsidized by US companies that make half of the equipment, and its own government. Subsidizing military with US troops and supplies frees up money from many EU nations to spend on social programs, tech investing, etc (not trying to get political here, just stating a complicated financial fact)

        Another reason is the business model was set up to get new customers who couldnt normally afford a $799 “bag phone” and offered inflated contracts with a free or low-cost phone in the late 80s/ early 90s. This later became the norm.

        Most of the conversations on bag phones that werent business were “Hey, I’m calling you from my car! Aint that cool?”. Many mid 90s luxury cars had cellphones installed in them from the factory (1993-1995 Lincoln Mark VIII) Many people who bought phones and traded in their pagers didnt know who to call on them at $0.35 per minute (Mine was $8 month and 8 cents per minute from my employer, cheap as ever, kept it for years) and instead used their home phones. If there wasnt a contract, they would have stopped paying for the service, and cellphone tech wouldnt have been funded as much. Early adopters financed everything up to the dot-com boom, then investors did.

        Sadly, the model NEVER changed, because the companies have instituted astronomical early cancellation fees” of hundreds of dollars in addition to the contract cost. I believe AT&T still had a ‘no cancellation fee’ but could keep the phone if done in a few days – people were doing this to get their iPhones activated, then cancelling the service without a fee and paying for the phone (why they wouldnt get an iTouch instead, I cant remember).

        These days, cellular companies in the US basically know they have you by the balls, and they would rather spend a million dollars on a Superbowl TV ad trying to get new customers rather than spend a DIME on keeping the ones they already have.

    • Bill says:

      ATT will automatically charge you for a data plan if you put your SIM in a smartphone. Yes, the network does know what phone you’re using.

      • Jonathan Wilson says:

        Carriers need to end this “data plan” BS and provide simple sane plans.
        Here in Australia I pay $20 per month with a $5 per month discount because I also have ADSL with the same company. For that money I get $300 per month of cap value, 1000 minutes per month to call others on the same carrier between 8pm and midnight and 1GB of data. My carrier does not care how I use the data, I can tether and they dont care.

        My $300 per month of cap value can be used for everything except international calls, international roaming and premium calls/SMS. (and yes that includes data) If I use more than $300 per month or if I use the excluded services, I get charged extra. But $300 per month is good and I have yet to exceed it.

        And I can use any phone I like that supports 900MHz and 2100MHz UMTS (like my Nokia N900)

        Much better than this BS about “data plans” and crap.

    • Jesseblue says:

      AT&T has a pay-as-you-go smartphone (The LG Incite) that can be used on their network without a data plan. WiFi lets you do most any smart phone thing without their expensive data plan. You can get the phone at Amazon (unlocked) for $79.

  7. aztraph says:

    nice detail, wish i’d had done this when i repaired my cell phone. http://www.myspace.com/480608276/photos/albums/my-phone-repair/1524627

  8. Hirudinea says:

    Free phone, no apapter, free adapter for wrong phone and some soldering and epoxy and you have a working, charging phone, thats a prefect, simple hack, nice.

  9. mattster says:

    this reminds me that i have a box of phones i should repurpose including a sidekick 2 and a tmobile dash.

  10. CalcProgrammer1 says:

    I got an Archos 43 tablet because I was in a similar situation. I use my phone (quite rarely) for calls and almost never for text. It’s a basic pay-as-you-go and it does everything I use it for. I did want a pocket computer but didn’t have the money for an expensive data plan. After considering buying a used smartphone and not activating it, I decided just to buy a device that gave me the ability to run Android (and Ubuntu/Debian) without the obnoxious fees.

  11. chango says:

    Epoxy putty is way underrated. I’ve made my share of strain reliefs and connector shells out of the stuff, even an HTC charger hack just like this.

    Way cheaper than Sugru, and with 500% better odds of cancer (for the unitiated, it smells like a Bondo-gasoline cocktail).

  12. andar_b says:

    One of my favorite, if underpowered phones, ever was the red ZTE flip-phone I got from Metro PCS. It had a media player with MP3 and MIDI playback, it could play MP3 and MIDI ringtones, a decent camera, bluetooth, talk and text were simple enough, but that was about the extent of its abilities. It fit perfectly in my hip pocket (the little extra pocket on Wranglers) and never fell out. The only trouble I had was the tiny not-quite USB plug it used, it may have been a rare tiny USB but nothing else I have used that port.

    It got replaced when I lost it during a trip to Yosemite, but I still miss having my flip-phone, despite Android being pretty cool.

  13. vdwalker says:

    That’s an HTC Typhoon. You can even install WM6 on it. And it charge with an USB cable and an iphone usb charger :P

  14. Wm_Atl says:

    This reminds me of a hack I did to a high speed scanner. It had now power supply and for only $400 I could get the power brick and for another $100 I could get the cord for said brick. Purchased a external hard drive case and noticed that it had the same connector as the scanner. After not finding a new connector I took the one from the enclosure rewired it and attached it to a 24v 4.2 amp industrial power supply added a case. I had the scanner running off of this franken supply. 6 years later the scanner still works and the hard drive enclosure with power supply hard wired to case still works.

    • ejonesss says:

      @ Wm_Atl i noticed the same thing.

      until the recent flood that took out a mediagate mg35 and lacie cd burner i noticed that mediagate and lacie uses the same power supply.

      before i bought a 2011 mac mini and turned my 2005 mac mini into a video player that was more reliable than the mediagate i was looking for a second power supply so when i would need to reload my mediagate i would have fewer stuff to take to the mac.

      i bought a lacie cd burner at a local second hand store and discovered the power supply was compatible so it saved me having to unplug the power supply from tv to mac i could just unplug it from the back of the unit along with the av cables and only have to take the unit.

      now with the old mac mini as video player i only have to bring a hard drive to the video player.

      also many of them power bricks also use the figure 8 looking plug for the 110 ac side.

      electric shavers also use that same plug and will work as long as it is not the polarized type.

      many of the newer hard drives now use the barrel type dc plug because they get the 5 volts from a dc to dc converter on the bridge board so it may be possible to (in theory) to splice and parallel a bunch of cords and connect to the 12 volt out on an atx power supply.

  15. Alexander says:

    Since you are going to be keeping it for quite a few years, I would go ahead and flash it to WM6 which is pretty easy to do with the ‘kitchens’ they have out there for the phones. My Mogul was a pretty fair-dinkum phone until I got my Droid.

  16. zero says:

    I did the same thing once upon a time because I left my charger many miles away, I used a usb socket desoldered off a defunct motherboard and a standard usb cable though

  17. zero says:

    Whoops, forgot picture:

  18. Nick Johnson says:

    I also do not like that in order to get a fancy PDA with a radio you usually have to sign up for a data plan, or pay for the thing in full.

    Is there a third option? You just want someone to give you a phone for free?

  19. power.supply says:

    just a question. why did you go to the trouble of cutting off the boot from the plug? why not just cut the cord and solder, then heatshrink? you can get dual wall heatshrink that is lined with glue too for cable relief. other then that, was a nice repurpose, I Like it.

    • pistacik says:

      He states it in article:
      Naturally one of the pins I would need was clipped off, they often do this to keep unskilled workers from making incorrect connections, but its highly freaking annoying.

      Without removing boot he would not be able to solder all pins he needed to.

  20. hell yea, no today’s phone will beat my Nokia 6300 :-)
    btw, great article.

  21. smoker_dave says:

    You fail at searching the internet and / or local phone shops.

    Is this the charger for your phone (second hit in US eBay?):

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-OEM-Mini-USB-HTC-Charger-2125-5600-SMT-5800-Fusion-8125-8525-TyTN-8925-Tilt-/140610198285?pt=PDA_Accessories&hash=item20bd055b0d

    The price, $3 with free shipping…

  22. Larry says:

    Great article, your missing out though! I use my phone for navigation, camera, mp3 player, internet on the go, and secondly phone calls and text :)
    You forgot symbian, as I have a nokia N8 fat fingers get resolved by swype :) Navigation is on the phone and works overseas without a dataplan and camera is awesome, compared to anything else out there, I take heaps of pics of components or wiring, as macro mode works really wel with a proper xeon flash :) and two ways to charge it :P

  23. Grovenstien says:

    SUGRU!!!!! This project needed some Sugru instead of the epoxy putty http://www.sugru.com

  24. MikrySoft says:

    Wow, I can’t believe how USA is behind Europe when it comes to cellphones. In Poland you can get any dumbphone/smartphone and put in a sim card and you are ready to go. 99% 3G coverage, HSDPA/HSUPA in most bigger cities. Sure, if you buy your phone from provider it has simlock forcing you to use this provider only, but removing this lock costs about 10$. You can get any plan with any phone, the only difference is price of the phone – and costs of using it. Using android phone without any data plan can get expensive pretty quick. I have my HTC Wildfire on prepaid plan with extra 150MB/mo for 3$ and I am paying about 17$ every 3 months – and I’m not using best provider avaliable.

    • MikrySoft says:

      Let me add one thing to that. Quick search on providers websites shows me that you can get a HTC Sensation (490 USD from Amazon) for 203 USD with 46$/mo plan giving you:
      * 1GB of data(if you exceed this amount you have reduced speed),
      * 1000 minutes of calls and/or 1055 test messages (0.06 USD each after you exceed this limit),
      * free calls/texts to people using this provider
      * free access to Facebook.

      You can get this plan down to 15 USD (at the cost of free minutes/texts but not internet access), but phome price will go up to 492 USD – still pretty good if you consider that this phone costs at least 600 USD in stores over here.

    • meatman says:

      It’s because the people that run cellphone companies here are disgustingly greedy. Europe regulates the cellphone industry, here we give them the right to rape and murder anyone they see fit.

      • Flavor says:

        Now if everyone would stop paying and complain, maybe they’d do something about it. The problem is that the consumers will pay for it, so the prices stay high. Capitalism

  25. henry99 says:

    $10 new on ebay (delivered). So much easier

  26. Tweeks says:

    I see there are several other fellow epoxy lovers in here. Excellent use (while SUGRU is cool and all.. but it’s overkill, and should be used more for a “grip” than what the epoxy was used for here.. especially given the price diff).

    As for using veg oil to smooth the epoxy, that just keeps your fingers from sticking to it. A better smoothing agent is actually rubbing alcohol, as it acts like a mild solvent and can literally fill any gaps and dissolve any peaks & valleys. We use epoxy like this with high powered rocket fin fillets all the time:

    http://tinyurl.com/6c8qnco

    I love epoxy. Just be sure to use latex or nitrile gloves so that you do not develop “epoxy toxicity”! (really.. it’s a very serious condition that anyone can get)

    Tweeks

  27. FrankTheCat says:

    Hah. I had the same problem; I wanted a simple dumbphone, but all my carrier had (AT&T) was ‘smartphones’ or chunky phones with keyboards. Both I did not want.

    I made one concession on the small list of things my phone were to have; a 3.5mm headphone jack.

    Enter the Nokia 5310. Uses ubiquitous Nokia chargers and batteries, parts are easily available online, and it’s basically a 6600 under the expressmusic branding, so it’s stupidly simple.

    Been serving happily as my phone for almost three years running.

    • thelackey3326 says:

      I miss my 5310. Sold it to a friend at work for cheap because I “upgraded” to an Android phone. He sits in the cubicle next to me, and every time I see the thing on his desk, or hear the little pi-pi-pi text message sound, I get a little nostalgic over its simplicity. The Android phone does get used for Internet things, sure. But now, I get to be irritated by emails that I don’t want throughout most of my day instead of just once when I get home at night. The 5310 is so small too! Great phone!

  28. Zae says:

    I still have my 2125, not that I use it, but it’s in my “oh shit” box for if someone jumps in the pool with their own phone.

    I don’t recall ever hearing/experiencing a threshold issue with it where you could not charge it from a computer, but I do recall being able to use the Motorola chargers with no issues since everyone and their mothers around me had a RAZR/ROKR/SLVR. If I can recall correctly I don’t believe I ever did use the stock HTC charger with it.

    Oh BTW if you get bored I think they ported WM6 or something to it.

  29. djnikochan says:

    As for the few comments about MVNOs, we do have them in the USA but they don’t often advertise. In addition, most people don’t know where to find their stores to get a phone or an activation. For Verizon fans such as myself, there’s Page Plus Cellular, who will even allow you to use smartphones (except iPhones and Blackberries due to contractual obligations). I use a Motorola Droid on their $29.95/mo plan, and it’s quite convenient. For AT&T fans, SpeakOut Wireless is becoming popular, as is StraightTalk. People wishing to try out the PagePlus service can even activate phones for free at some dealer websites (such as http://pageplusdealer.com/PagePlus/catalog/Activate.php) and get $2 airtime to fiddle around with. Go grab a friend’s old deactivated, old-news phone today, and let’s ALL save some cell phones from the dumpster. :-) Before my Droid I used an old Motorola Q for ages. It’s a lot like the phone from this article, and was a freebie.

  30. Just Looking says:

    I’ve noticed that some in this thread have mentioned ebay for cheap charges. A Goodwill store just open near me recently. Since they also recycle electronics I decided to check it out. 20+ phone and laptop chargers for $1 – $3 12 VCRs looking like new for $4.95 each, 15″ LCD for $15 and several odds and ends. Ebay is now my second place to go for parts.

  31. Jack Dedert says:

    Seems there’s a pretty robust push-back for smart phones and data plans. I’m still using my old Moto V-550 from the mid-90s. I don’t text and I don’t do internet on it. It contains none of the original parts; all having been replaced at some point with junk bought off the internet as the various pieces got broken or failed.

    The phone I I’ll eventually have to fall in line, I suppose….

  32. Ken says:

    That’s a lot of trouble to go to to save $4.99

    http://www.cellphoneshop.net/eltrchforci8.html

  33. j0z0r says:

    I have a SCH-u640, with Verizon as my carrier. I also refuse to pay $30 or more a month for a data plan when I can access the internet freely from my laptop in any number of places. The kicker is the fees they charge when you don’t have a data plan. I never use the mobile web, but I download a game about every three months or so. It’s $2 a Mb, with all data rounded up. So a 72kb download costs me two dolla, on top of the seven I already payed for it. I think that spit should be illegal. There’s no way to avoid the charge. If I went into the physical store, I couldn’t pay for the game and then have them gimme the .jar file on a card. Also, unlike a lot of services in which you buy digital content, once you lose the device, no one cares if you had 5 games on it. Gotta buy them again and get your butt gouged off twice as hard. I know these shady business practices are just used to try to force me into a data plan, but it’s highly annoying. I’m not buying that rip off. I wish when you signed a contract, that you could make the company also sign a contract. Of course, most people just “gotta have it now” so they pay and don’t even care. That sends the message to the companies that it’s ok, even the right thing to do. Disgusting I say. My flip phone will do my telephony for as long as I can still buy one…

  34. Hitokiri_Ace says:

    Smart phones are way to expensive in the US.. Verizon makes you have about a $40 voice plan + $30 for the data plan. I don’t hardly use my dumb phone for talking.. Which is why I buy iTouch’s. I wouldn’t mind having a cheap data receiver in one though. Paying for internet at home, and on the go, just doesn’t sit well with me. Especially when my home connection is 50Mb/s+ So ya.. shove it Verizon/ATT/Sprint/etc..

  35. Shaun C says:

    I love my old phone. It’s great in two ways. it’s an HTC Touch (Vogue), which natively runs Windows Mobile 5.

    following instructions online I was able to flash the phone to Android 2.2, which runs with full functionality.

    So… now it “feels” like a brand new phone software wise.

    I also live in Canada.

    For whatever reason, Bell didnt classify this phone as a smartphone.

    Which means the data I use on the phone is classified under “mobile browser” like a standard cellphone. (this is actual data streaming though).
    I found the HTC touch on kijiji for 30 bucks.
    flashed it to android 2.2
    I pay 25 dollars a month (pay as you go, no contract) for unlimited text, unlimited data, and unlimited calling between 3 and 7.

    I’m happy with my old phone!!!

  36. SetNick says:

    This is awesome. I wish I still had my 2125, it was one of the best phones I have ever owned.

  37. Ender says:

    know im a few days late, but my phone is about as old as yours. it plays zelda, it had mass storage for mp3, phenominal speakers, calls and sms. the best part is the sd memory card for music, AND a usb port for data, so its awesome. i work at radio shack and of course they tried to sell me their smart phones. i need to show them my gameboy emulator so they leave me alone. thanks for the tip XD

  38. Motorcyclist says:

    We live out of range of the closest cell towers and my Android doesn’t usually work up here. However, I have an old Samsung dumb-phone that I unlocked and can now use with a T-mobile prepaid account, and that’s the only thing we have if the darn roadrunner VOIP account loses power or internet access. (as has happened several times.)

    The Samsung gets 3 bars ON THE SAME tower that the Android gets little or no reception on. (and you can’t really talk, even if you do manage to connect)

    One thing…..1 volt over battery output spec is not going to hurt your phone or battery. Measure the charger sometime and see how much AC component it’s eating every time you plug it in. I’ve seen AC ripple voltage at 3v P-P for one of the newer chargers.

  39. Johannes says:

    I dont blame you using old phones. I used to have my good old HTC TYTN2 Wm6.1 smartphone aka “The Brick” as I used to call it, but it broke (Something with the ribbon cable connection LCD part and keyboard part which resulted in no SIM / microSD or a combination of those two failures). I replaced it for a Samsung galaxy s2 since I had to get something powerful and something that could last too..

    Even though the SGS2 is so much more powerful and without doubt a great smartphone, the TYTN2 was the best phone for me – especially for ROM hacking! Heck, I used Wm6.0 when I first got it, then later upgraded to 6.1. Then the good guys at XDA devs. created a win mo 6.5.5 port (which is much MUCH better than any older winmo version) and then finally I ran Android 2.2.X on it with ~50% overclock!. That phone was a beast and the keyboard was great – with my somewhat too big fingers, I will never get used to touch screen only..!

    A couple of days back I revived it again thanks to some cheap ebay spareparts and its good to see its still alive and kicking! Even though this phone is heavy and and not as fast anymore, it still impresses me over and over again! I was probably going to use it as a brain in a robot project, especially since it is easy to run linux on it – after all Ubuntu has been ported to it!

  40. jkj says:

    nice job…

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